By Jim Ellis — Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
PresidentJanuary 6: Insurrection? — There has been an ongoing argument about whether former President Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the January 6 situation at the US Capitol constitutes “insurrection” as cited in the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, and last week, a state Supreme Court issued a ruling.
At first glance, it appears that Trump won the Minnesota decision, but reading the chief justice’s decision suggests the issue is not yet firmly decided. Similar lawsuits are also alive in Colorado and Michigan.
The Minnesota State Supreme Court officially dismissed the lawsuit that was attempting to ban Trump from the state’s ballot. The high court ruled that his name be placed on the Republican primary ballot. Obviously, this part of the decision favors the former president.
The high court left open the possibility to hear, however, another lawsuit for the general election should Trump win the Republican presidential nomination. Some of the language associated with this narrative suggests that the ultimate decision might be different.
In dismissing the challenge, Minnesota Chief Justice Natalie Hudson wrote that the Republican primary is, “an internal party election to serve internal party purposes…[a]nd there is no statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting, a candidate who is ineligible to hold office.”
The plaintiffs indicated they are “disappointed” with the ruling but underscored that the state Supreme Court has left the door open for a perhaps different ruling later in the cycle after Trump becomes the party nominee.